Billionaire Tom Ricketts today emerged as the lead candidate to buy the Cubs for a whopping $900 million. He got right down to business, outlining a broad 15-year plan to turn around the franchise, best-known as the lovable losers of Major League Baseball.
“People need to understand that we have to undo decades of damage left behind by mismanagement and gross negligence,” said Ricketts. “We might lose 500 games over our first five years. I want fans to know that it’s not going to be pretty for a while.”
Ricketts said he hoped to make immediate improvements to Wrigley Field and the surrounding area.
“We’d like to get right to work improving the stadium,” said Ricketts. “We’ll need the cooperation of the entire neighborhood. Luckily, I’ve already had a number of friendly conversations with the rooftop owners on Sheffield and Waveland avenues who’ve promised their complete support of any projects we’d like to put in place.”
Any revenue gains will be put right back into the team, Ricketts said.
“We’re going to work hard to build a tradition of excellence with this team,” said Ricketts. “It’s going to take a while. Our fans are faithful and patience. I’m sure they’ll stick with us.”
Ricketts’ assumption about fans seems to be correct. Excited fans pledged their allegiance to the team and new ownership group while the 15-year rebuild.
“As long as the Tribune is out of the baseball business, I’m happy,” said Mark Johnston of Wrigleyville. “I’m will to stick by this rich dude as long as I need to. He’s going to turn things around for the Cubs. I’d bet Jim Hendry’s career on it.”